By Kevin Bales | Free the Slaves Co-founder and University of Nottingham professor
Over the past 20 years the global antislavery movement has grown rapidly. Chart that growth and you get a long tail, then a steep upward curve about 10 years ago. From a small campaign on the margins, antislavery went mainstream and a series of tipping points marked that shift.
The Clinton Global Initiative made slavery a key focus. New laws were passed in the U.S., U.K. and other countries. Big philanthropic players entered the field, and significant new investments in freedom came from both governments and foundations. The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act passed by the U.S. Congress in December 2016 allocated $250 million and set up a $1.5 billion trust fund, while the U.K. government allocated £1.5 billion in funds to address slavery and other global challenges.
Though still not enough money to bring slavery to an end, this is tremendous progress. But this success brings an important challenge: more financial resources means we can open more antislavery projects, but do we have the qualified human resources to carry out the work of liberation?
The short answer to that question is “no.” Virtually every experienced antislavery worker in the world has learned their skills on the job. And the best teachers are those whose work tends to keep them in the field, doing what they do best: getting people out of slavery. And that’s why we had to launch the free online short course Ending Slavery: Strategies for Contemporary Global Abolition as part of a professional training master’s degree program at the University of Nottingham.
The Ending Slavery online course starts May 8. It is free. It’s an introduction to modern antislavery and explores the strategies of abolition in the past and the present. More than 8,000 people from 150 countries signed up when it was first offered last year to learn from the scholars and activists who took part. It’s a solid beginning for anyone interested in ending slavery.
There’s another crucial reason we had to launch the MOOC and master’s degree program. As antislavery projects have proliferated, more and more questions are being raised about how effectively to deliver such programs, how effectiveness can be measured, and what are the appropriate types of intervention for the many different types of enslavement in different countries.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place